Our existence has always been shrouded in darkness and despair. The fate of all beings with life is a cruel one, but to us humans, even more so. We live life aware of our impending doom. There’s always a voice in the back of our heads reminding us of the futility of existence. It has a shrill tone that progressively gets louder with every second that passes.”You’ll die anyway, what’s the point of living? You are just a drop of water in the ocean, a grain of sand in the desert, and an atom in the universe. Why don’t you just give up?” On average, it takes only 4 generations to completely forget a member of someone’s bloodline. The majority of people won’t recognize the face or name of their great grandparents even if they were in front of them. That means that the legacy of most people is around a hundred years at most. In comparison to the lifespan of the Earth or some animals, our lives are just a flash in the pan. What makes you think you’re so special? This is the actuality of life, but it’s up to us to choose what to do with this information.
There are those who can go through this harsh reality with pride and joy. “So what if I’ll live a short life? As long as I’m happy, I’m happy?” This is the kind of person that accepts the terms of life. In exchange for this sentience, we sacrifice our lifespan. This fact is realized at an early age and their ultimate satisfaction comes with just “enjoying the ride.” A sort of go with the flow mentality you can call it.
Then are the people that live in fear of their mortality but accept it. These are the types that work themselves until they cough up blood. They find meaning in this seemingly meaningless existence. They have incredibly strong convictions and beliefs and do not waver. They fight for themselves, for others, or for the world itself. These people won’t accept being forgotten and want to permanently leave the Earth with their mark. They challenge preconceived notions on what is and isn’t possible. Boundaries are meant to be pushed just like a sword should be constantly sharpened. To avoid letting the world getting dull like a blade, they try to refine every detail possible.
Lastly, you have the people who can’t accept their mortality. They’ve given up life and living. The sheer intimidating force of death is enough to blow them away from their humanity. “It’s all just a dead-end,” they say. The excruciating experiences in their past or present make them the lost souls they are today. The human brain can only take so much abuse, so it tries to take away the pain in any way possible. Addiction in any shape or form is one of the most common ways of coping with pain. It can be in the form of drugs, sex, women, pornography, alcohol, smoking, and social media. Any one of these is enough to drive a sane man into suicide. But when combined, it creates a deadly cycle of enslavement. Things like media consumption can and sometimes is the deadliest form of addiction. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. Movies, YouTube videos, and games are already widely accepted in society. “It’s just a fun and innocent form of entertainment,” many claim. It may start as just that, but over time, it takes over a person’s life. It’s a virus that doesn’t show its true colors until much later. Eventually, these people realize the cruel truth when it’s already far too late.
As humans, we were born with a plethora of unique abilities. The only reason you can read and understand this is a testament to that fact. Running, swimming, hunting, and flying are usually traits that are exclusive to specific animal “families.” Birds for example can’t outrun a cheetah. They weren’t born capabilities to do so. What the bird can do is soar through the skies to evade the cheetah. Vice versa with the cheetah as well. If a bird was attempting to run, the predator would surely catch it. However, we can do all that and more with the assistance of the technology we developed. Another thing we developed is a complex range of feelings and emotions. Pythagoreans long ago believed that animals experience the same range of emotions as humans and current research provides compelling evidence that at least some animals likely feel a full range of emotions, including fear, joy, happiness, shame, embarrassment, resentment, jealousy, rage, anger, love, pleasure, compassion, respect, relief, disgust, sadness, despair, and grief. We can see these traits in the protectiveness of animals’ kin and comrades. No matter how dejecting dogs may seem to some people, we’ve seen that they can act out on their own intentions. They may not understand what we say and do, but they recognize our companionship. How can an untrained dog instinctively jump into the way of a moving truck to save a little girl?
Though we possess many talents and emotions as animals, many things separate us from them. Aside from the whole “higher knowledge” aspect, we all have much more defined and deeper emotions than animals. Not just that, but our brains also house the distinctive trait of finding things funny. That’s right, humor and comedy is a purely human aspect. “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”-Audrey Hepburn. Indeed, laugher always comes out to be the “cure-all” medicine that we all need. It is through comedic entertainment and the general silliness of our lives do we find appreciation. We laugh to deal with our mortality and inevitable fate. In healthy doses, it can be a gateway to spending more time with family and friends. Other times, it’s to numb the pain of a tragic event or circumstances of life. Whatever it may be, nine times out of ten, comedy seems the best way to enjoy life. It’s become a form of art that can be appreciated by all. It’s been shown time and time again that laugher can make the worst of situations into scenes of hilarity. Although quite controversial, one can even make murders and national tragedies into the topic of laughter. In this simple way, we find true meaning in life.
“Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.”
― Jean Racine